Exploring Ilocos : Hidden Garden Lilong and Lilang Restaurant

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It was almost 2pm when we had our lunch. We went back to Hidden Garden: Lilong and Lilang Restaurant after our exhausting trip to Baluarte (Check: Exploring Ilocos : Baluarte Ni Chavit). Prior to our trip in Baluarte, we already made our reservation and wer finally get our slots. We have been in Ilocos for 2 days already but we never got the chance to try their authentic dishes. We finally got the opportunity to taste the native dishes of Ilocos in Hidden Garden : Lilong and Lilang restaurant.
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We are still welcomed by such great crowd when we went in but you can easily notice its refreshing ambiance. The place is adorned with so many plants and festive designs. I cannot really tell what exactly their theme is but there so much colors to see. In one corner, you’ll see a collection of jars and Buddha and on the other side is a huge collection of Ilocos souvenirs like horses and mini furniture along with a wall filled with celebrity photos (celebrities who already visited the restaurant)
20170430_150939tLocated in Brgy Bulala, Vigan City, Hidden Garden : Lilong and Lilang Restaurant was opened in 1999 and is owned by Rafaela Flores with luscious green landscape by Francis Flores. It truly offers a refreshing ambiance I must say with all the garden set up and festive decorations.
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Upon entering, you will be welcomed by their souvenir shops. They are selling a bunch of stuffs including famous delicacies from Ilocos and some wooden sculptures too!
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A collection of Buddha statues where visitors are encouraged to offer money. The money that will be collected from here will be used to buy goods to be given to the less fortunate residents of Brgy Bulala and nearby areas.
20170430_140243tA collection of handicrafts of various shapes and sizes. Some are for sale and some are used for display purposes.
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There’s also an area dedicated to pictures showing some of the celebrities and high profile personalities who have visited the restaurant
20170430_151027ttCute souvenirs for sale. These export quality handicrafts will range from Php200 and above per piece.
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If you want your visit to feel a little exclusive (especially if you are travelling in huge group), you can also avail their Nipa huts and cottages
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Look how festive their main reception area is! The place is adorned with colorful banderitas and capiz-made lanterns on top!
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As expected, we were greeted by an overwhelming crowd. If you are the type of guy who want to dine in a quiet and peaceful place, Hidden Garden may not be the right venue but hey, I bet you wouldn’t want to miss their authentic Ilocano dishes as well as their signature native Halo-halo!
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Here are some of their best sellers on the menu!

The Food!
18217169_1889080197980345_1197143903_ntIt is not going to be an Ilocano cuisine without their well-known Bagnet. Bagnet is a deep fried crispy pork belly dish that is similar to lechon kawali. They said that it is great to match with beer.
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This Ilocano dish is called Warek-Warek. This dish is made from pork’s liver, tail, tongue, ears & jaws. Spiced with mayonnaise or pork’s brain. For me, it’s like the Ilocano’s version of Sisig
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To balance that oily yet juicy bagnet, you must match it with something healthy like this Dinengdeng! It is a bagoong based soup dish made primarily of vegetables with grilled fish
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Sinanglao on the other hand has a “pulutan” vibe to it. It is a beef innards and skin soup, flavored with bile and kamias specialty of Vigan. It is quite bitter yet super tasty.

We didn’t get a chance to try their native Halo-halo but it is definitely a must when you visit the Hidden Garden. It is wonderfully served in coconut shell.

Other dishes they offer include Poqui-Poqui (a vegetable dish made with roasted eggplant, tomatoes, and eggs), their signature Vigan Empanada, Vigan Longanisa, Igado (made from pork tenderloin and pig’s innards ), Pinakbet and more.

For more inquiries you can visit them at their web page https://hiddengardenvigan.com

How to get to Vigan
►There are many bus lines from Manila that caters daily trips to Laoag which passes by Vigan. The trips usually made through North Luzon Expressway and Manila North Road passing through the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan and La Union

WHERE TO STAY IN VIGAN
►Since we are a huge group, we realized that it is more practical for us to get a transient house in Vigan. We stayed in Carlainton Transient House which offers a very spacious set of rooms (good enough to accommodate us all). They have an Honest Store here which is really a new experience for me. Anyway, there’s an overwhelming amount of lodges, transient houses and hotels in Vigan. If you are looking for a luxurious hotel experience, you might consider hotels like Ciudad Fernandina (Check Details Here) or the Hotel Salcedo De Vigan (Check Here). For Solo Backpackers or Couples who are in budget, you can try Balai Mestizo which is just one kilometer away from Calle Crisologo. Check the list of affordable Ilocos Sur Hotels here! (I personally prefer TravelBook Ph because of their “Pay At Hotel” service which doesn’t require any credit cards when booking).

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